Lafayette 148 New York

Tonie Ong

Since the latter half of the 20th century, when women began working themselves, they’ve embraced a simpler and sleeker look. Think well-tailored pieces with uncomplicated silhouettes and without any frills nor embroideries. Think a nice-fitted collared shirt with either a pencil skirt or a pair of sleek trousers. Suddenly, women wanted clothes they can work, walk, and move around in, but still have the refinement and sophistication of previous generations’ fashions. The idea of luxury was no longer just about how clothes looked, but more on how they felt. These were the principles important for a lot of brands today, and none more so for Lafayette 148 New York.

One of the sleekest brands in fashion today, Lafayette 148 New York offers women a high-quality wardrobe to fit their modern and busy lifestyles. It’s all about comfort and couture, combining luxurious fabrics, expert clothing construction, and the divine quality New York fashion is known and renowned for. The brand is more about what women want and need for today, and less concerned over the ostentatious trends in the limelight. Such a foundation is what has made it one of the most successful labels in the industry today, beloved by women all over the world.

It all started with a garment factory

The company began as garment factory in the early 1990’s. It was owned by Chinese business couple Sun Yen and Isa Siu. They later grew tired of just manufacturing garments and decided to make a brand of their own to make better use of their own factory. Together with Deirdre Quinn, they set up the label Lafayette 148 New York in 1996. They specialized in ready-to-wear, aiming at women who were more mature and worked for a living. Around that time, with the emergence of the “grunge” look, fashion was more focused on the youth, which made the brand that much easier to establish themselves against other high fashion labels.

They also established themselves as a contemporary brand—selling their high-quality luxury pieces at affordable prices. It was also during this time that the contemporary market was getting its feet, with other designer labels such as Alice+Olivia and Ulla Johnson setting up their own stores as well. Soon, because of their mature and elegant styles, Lafayette 148 New York was available in some of the most prominent retailers in the US. By the late 2000’s, they were starting to expand to China as well where American goods were becoming popular.

Physical and online presence

Two of the first retailers to hold pieces of Lafayette 148 New York were Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor. They sold the brand’s items wholesale and to this day, they’re still available in their stores and online platforms. Since two of the founders are Chinese, their first international expansion was in China in the late 2000’s. They began selling through some of the most beloved retailers in China and received critical acclaim and commercial success from the Chinese consumers. They’ve since opened a store there as well. In the 2010’s, the brand also ventured into other international markets, namely the ones in Europe and the Middle East. Online, their clothes are also available in e-commerce websites such as Net-A-Porter and Moda Operandi.

Keeping it sleek and simple

The brand is not afraid to explore different cuts and fabrications. They’ve made use of leather, as both garments and leather goods, and knitwear. Women have embraced their sleek and simple style, mainly because they are versatile pieces as well. One can wear a jacket for work during the day, and by the help of a few accessories, at nighttime parties as well. Additionally, their dedication to using high-quality materials is also a huge selling point. They’ve made use of the finest textiles and cut them into the most well-made garments in fashion. The brand has since become a staple for modern working women, who are one of the most lucrative consumer bases in the entire industry.

Inclusive Approach to High Fashion

While they may be known for their sleek style, the brand does not discriminate in terms of their customer. They cater to 58 different sizes, making them one of the most democratic fashion brands in the industry. What a size 4 woman might get, a size 32 customer can easily buy as well. Such a wide range of items is what has helped make the brand one of the most beloved and successful in the industry today. Furthermore, their prices are also not as high. One can get a piece for $450 and even more for lower than that. With such accessibility and high-quality, it’s no wonder Lafayette 148 New York has seen its fair share of success.

Many brands claim to work and cater to the working woman, but Lafayette 148 New York truly does. Their clothes are of high-quality, stylish, democratic, and affordable. The brand is for the everyday working woman, whose wardrobe needs versatility, functionality, but still a bit of high fashion refinement.

Lafayette 148 New York Logo

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